Admin complaints to be filed vs BuCor personnel over inmate's escape

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, September 7) — The Board of Inquiry of the Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) reccommended the filing of administrative complaints against some of the agency's officials and personnel over an inmate's escape in July.

The officials and prison guards will face complaints for gross neglect of duty over car thief Michael Cataroja's escape from the maximum security compound at the New Bilibid Prison.

An investigation also revealed the prison guards did not use under vehicle inspection mirrors to inspect vehicles leaving Bilibid premises.

This is just part of the board's preliminary report, and BuCor chief Gregorio Catapang said criminal raps could follow.

"Maaari po. Depende na po. Hindi ko na po pinangungunahan ang magiging final report ni General Pereras who is chair of the board of inquiry," he said

[Translation: It's possible. It depends. I will not preempt the final report to be released by General Pereras who is chair of the board of inquiry.]

Cataroja escaped Bilibid by clinging on to the underside of a garbage truck and senators wanted to know if guards use under vehicle inspection mirrors.

Cataroja said he did not see one. The guard, however, insisted one was used. A polygraph test by the National Bureau of Investigation proved Cataroja was not lying.

A former camp commander said the removal of 700 personnel resulted in lax security.

"Kinabahan nga po ako. Eh kasi po wala na pong SPU (security and patrol unit) and keepers," said Purificacion Hari, who was the former OIC camp commander of the maximum security compound

"Wala na pong magmi-maintain ng peace and order sa maximum," she also said. "Bilang babae po mahirap po sa akin mag-maintain ng ganun."

[Translation: It got me worried. Because there is no SPU and no keepers. There is no one to maintain peace and order at the maximum. As a woman, it's difficult for me to maintain that.]

Those removed were brought in by former BuCor chief Gerald Bantag. Among them were patrol units and keepers whom Catapang replaced with only 300 personnel.

On the supposed mass graves, experts confirmed no human remains were found inside Bilibid's septic tank, but Senator Robin Padilla said he wants other septic tanks inspected.

"'Yan po ang matagal nang usap-usapan sa Bilibid yan," Padilla said. "Na 'yang septic tank na yan may pagka horror yan. Kaya mas maganda po talaga kung talagang bibigyan nyo ng permiso na magkaroon ng imbestigasyon dyan."

[Translation: There has been talk about that septic tank in Bilibid -- that it can be gruesome. So it would be good if permission to investigate will be granted.]